Andrew Hawkey – Long Story Short

Album Review | Mole Lodge Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson

Without sounding ever-so-slightly ageist, for I’m no spring chicken myself, I confess to a tendency of steering clear of pension-aged singer songwriters, especially if they’ve never crossed my path before. It’s therefore a joy to hear Andrew Hawkey’s new record Long Story Short, an album packed with great songs that could possibly give the young whippersnappers out there today something to think about.  The 77 year-old, Cornishman, a long-time resident of Powys, mid-Wales, makes such a good mature sound through these ten songs, with a confident and engaging delivery that appears to betray his years, both smooth and soulful with a touch of melancholy in places.

If such songs as “Dear Friend”, a superb ode to friendship and the Country-inflected “Golden Heart (on a Rusty Chain)” keep you listening attentively in your chair, then “Jones on Me” will probably make you fall off it, a southern soul crooner reminiscent of the heyday of Muscle Shoals music making, underpinned by an organ part worthy of Spooner Oldham, which will probably help you hear the slight ripple of the Mississippi River in the background; or maybe that’s just my fertile imagination at work.  Yep, I love this one, a real surprise.

Choice Track: Jones on Me (NSV 499)